I wanted pie. Apple pie to be exact. I had a problem though. First, I didn’t have all of the ingredients needed for my absolute favorite apple pie. Second, it’s not apple season so my favorite pie apples aren’t available. I prefer a good cortland for pie making but they are hard to come by in the winter months. So, I was without heavy cream and only had granny smith apples. Okay… I still love granny smith apples. They’re great in muffins and cookies. Yes, cookies. Someday I’ll share that recipe. It’s like muffin meets cake meets cookie, or something like that. I have never used this kind of apple in a pie, or even a tart. Honestly, I’ve never made a fruit tart.
I made a chocolate swirl tart ages ago. So long ago that I don’t remember what recipe I used. I suppose I’ll need to go in hunt of that for this summer. It was super chocolatey but so very good.
Anyway… back to my problem. I wanted pie. I decided why not try to make an apple tart. How hard could it be? So it turned out to be a bit time consuming but not overly complicated. The most annoying part of the whole task was dealing with the apples in a timely manner. I absolutely hate how fast apples brown. They seem to brown extra fast when they’re not in season. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that they’re not local, so they’re not as fresh as I’d like. I don’t have many options living in New England in the winter though.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup butter, cold
1/4 - 1/2 cup cold water
1 egg, beaten
5 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
If you have a food processor, it would be best to use it for the first part of the crust process. If not, use a pastry cutter or long fork. Mix flour, sugar and butter together until combined well. It doesn't have to be totally smooth, getting the chunks down to pea size is good enough.
Transfer to a medium bowl. Add water a tablespoon or two at a time until you have a nice consistency. You want the dough to hold together but not be overly flaky. You might not need to add a full 1/2 cup of water, judge this as you go. If your dough is holding together well and isn't flaky, stop. Transfer dough to a plastic bag and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Tick tock ... okay this was the second most annoying part of the entire tart making process. I wanted to make the tart, not wait an hour! Argh. Okay... find something fun to do in the meantime, or just clean up the mess you've made.
Preheat oven to 400. Put dough between two pieces of wax papper. You can use plastic wrap if that's all you have. I find wax paper easier as it doesn't stick as much. You can also go without either but remember to flour your dough and work space often. Roll out the dough into a large enough circle to fit your tart pan. Prepare your tart pan with butter or Pam for baking. That stuff smells awesome and works great. Transfer your dough to the tart pan and toss in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Butter or spray tin foil, fitting it to the dough. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove foil, brush egg over your crust and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cool completely.
In a small bowl mix together sugar and cinnamon. When your crust has cooled, sprinkle 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar mixture over the crust. Now, working as quickly and safely as possible. One at a time... or all at once, whichever you prefer, slice an apple in half, use a melon baller to remove the core. Peel the skin from your apple and slice each half into thin pieces. Arrange slices on your crust. Repeat with the remaining apples. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the apples. Top off with slices of butter. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing into.